In the poetry of Psalm 119, God is the teacher, and God’s people are the students. Creation is the classroom, and the lessons are the laws or teachings of God. Learning is our way of life.

This particular lesson focuses on God’s righteousness and our response. The Hebrew word for “righteous” or “righteousness” appears five times. It means what is right or just, but it implies a kindness and generosity as justice is being done. The psalmist declares God’s righteousness even in the presence of her enemies, troubles, and anguish. Even in difficult times, she loves God’s promises and delights in God’s commandments.

When life is glorious, it’s easy to fall asleep in class. We become practical atheists and dismiss our need for God and God’s teachings. But when the news headlines haunt us, when we hear a terrible diagnosis, when we say goodbye to a loved one, or when we struggle to love our friends and family, let alone our enemies, the psalmist issues a wake-up call that God is faithful. God’s righteousness is everlasting. God’s promises are time-tested and true.

In those moments where we feel small and despised, we can huddle in God’s classroom together. We can sing the songs of our faith as we proclaim the poetry of the psalmist. We can keep learning at God’s feet until God’s teaching becomes our way of life.

Righteous God, make us lifelong learners of your teachings so that we delight in your Word and trust you on all the pathways of life. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 19:1-10

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Lectionary Week
October 24–30, 2022
Scripture Overview

Habakkuk stands aghast at the “destruction and violence” all around and wonders how justice never seems to conquer. At the end of the reading, God contrasts the proud, whose spirit “is not right in them,” with the righteous who live by faith. The psalmist delights in God’s righteousness and in the commandments of God; however, he admits that “I am small and despised.” The psalmist’s “trouble and anguish” appear in Second Thessalonians also, but here the “persecutions and the afflictions” endured by the faithful serve a particular end: They stand as signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel reading Jesus tells Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house,” which reminds us that the righteous who live by faith are not necessarily the socially or religiously acceptable.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4. How can you wait actively for God’s response to your prayers and complaints? How will you enact God’s response when it comes?
Read Psalm 119:137-144. How do you follow God’s commandments in the face of injustice and corruption?
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12. The work of the church has never been easy. How does your faith community work to exude God’s love in a time when many reject or feel rejected by church institutions?
Read Luke 19:1-10. When have you run to Jesus? How can you share your experience so others pursue Jesus as well?

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